This letter implies that our road needs aren't being met because UTA is taking
the money. Wow! When did leadership give their power over tax policy and tax
rates to UTA!?! Let's look at how UTA and UDOT are funded. Both
can be given money straight from the state budget that can come from almost
anywhere. In truth, the legislature gives UDOT a lot of money and UTA almost
nothing. They are tax-phobic, and so don't want to be responsible for raising
taxes to fund transit, even though the public (as evidenced by our recent sales
tax increases) are willing to tax themselves to pay for it. UTA has taken their
case to the people and been approved for taxes to fund multi-billion dollar
projects.The opposite case is UDOT. The legislature, if they really
wanted to address critical highway needs in a significant way, could put on a
tax increase of any kind at any time. They could do that NOW. But they won't,
because they fear taxes. So maybe blame our legislative leaders that UDOT
doesn't have money. They can give it to them at any time, we just need leaders
who will lead.
You have a good point about truck versus rail efficiency for freight.So look at the huge inefficiency of using great locomotives to haul a few
dozen tons of people around. Commuter trains average, perhaps 60 passenger miles
per gallon of fuel; buses, vans, and full-cars do better, much cheaper.UTA's locomotives have 3,600 hp diesel engines. Along a fairly level course,
they could haul 4,000 tons of freight much more efficiently than trucks. But,
when hauling people, UTA's express buses or vanpools are much more efficient.
But, UTA has robbed ridership from those.To make a commuter
train, UTA has had the transmissions regeared and the engines changed to ,
basically, hotrod these workhorses. Then, they run them wide open to get up to
79 mph, throttle back for a few minutesto maintain that speed, and then slam on
the brakes before the next station. This is very inefficient, especially on
fuel.Average speed is about 50 mph, not including the extra time
getting into the parking lots and getting to the platforms. The real average
speed is 40 mph or less. It is way below the speeds on freeways, unless
government intentionally refuses to upgrade freeways.
the reason no one uses UTA from the airport is that it is not convenient. The
airport line will be a highly used line. Trax does not add to traffic
congestion. 400 South capacity has not decreased since the U line went in.
There are just more cars, which would be more if the line was not there.
"It only works if you live near a station and your destination is also near a
station. How often does that happen? Not often. That's why autos are used in 99%
of all travel".Rail doesn't have to "work" for most of us to benefit
all of us. Why? Because those people who do take rail. Clear the freeways,
use less oil, create more polution for the rest of us.Without raid,
soon the freeways won't work for any of us.
Uta should consider running their busses and trains on natural gas to save
money.We need trains, without them the freeways would be too
You can't argue with the numbers. No for-profit organization would ever
consider the rail plans we've seen no matter how subsidized because they simply
don't make sense. Does anyone know why trucks are so often used
instead of trains for shipping products? It's cheaper for a company to hire a
truck that will take its product directly from point A to point B, despite the
fuel costs, because it allows them to avoid managing a more complex system, and
they won't be hamstrung by delays and losses that trains are notorious for.How is moving yourself (by train or automobile) any different?I can't afford the lost time and convenience, so I continue to buy gasoline
and will as long as I can.
Here's a good comparison in the freight context, and it refutes Mr. Packard's
skewed analysis that doesn't account for ridership in trains vs. cars, the
`ton-miles per gallon' statistics: A train can move a ton of freight 436 miles
on a gallon of fuel. A truck can only haul it 59 miles. Also, according the
Department of Transportation, the average over the road truck pays approximately
70% of the road damage it incurs through fuel and other taxes. We the difference
in money and the time spent in eternal construction jams.
You don't make a good case for More Public Transportation with facts, just
claims.Less cars, less traffic? Light rail actually increases
traffic problems while cars wait for the trains.Less pollution?
Where do you think the electricity to run light rail comes from? And in case
you haven't noticed, the frontrunner runs on diesel. Less of a
demand for Oil? Rail has done little to reduce demand for oil because it is so
inefficient. It only works if you live near a station and your destination is
also near a station. How often does that happen? Not often. That's why autos
are used in 99% of all travel.See the actual numbers and efficiency
of rail vs auto by googling "public purpose"
taxpayer subsidized inefficiency? it's a beautiful thing...
Mr. Packard is always good for a laugh.Keep chasing those windmills.
This is the type of thinking that lead to the Pumps in the Desert under
Bangerter. It is also reminicient of the problems that General Motors is
facing. Despite the prospect of increasing gas prices, GM staked their future
on big SUVs with low gas mileage. Anyone noticed their stock price lately?
They practically can't give away Suburbans now that gas is $4 per gallon. Wait til it hits $10? Who is going to drive at that price?Build the rail system and when gas is $10 there will be a way for the working
poor to get to their jobs.
This is just a complete load of hog wash. You write this article like UTA is the
single contributing factor to the downfall of civilization as we know it. To answer the part of your story about critical freeway needs, UDOT
creates freeways that are already outdated. when they are done, they tear them
up again, and again and again. I have been in Utah now for 10 years, and I do
not recall a period of time where there hasn't been freeway construction. In California they do it once, they do it right, and they don't have to
rebuild for 20+ years.Gas is $4+ a gallon, I want Trax down to Provo
ASAP. I am not the only one. If the money is there for UTA, I say build it. We
have a fuel crisis, and UTA can be a huge savior to those of us fighting to
survive financially. More Public Transportation, less cars, less traffic, less
pollution and less of a demand for Oil. GET OVER YOURSELF and your
own self interests